Olive lands: the route of Olive Trees from Assisi to Spello

Trail name and description

Level & Scale of difficulty used for hiking

E (For more info have a look here

Duration

5.5 hrs (return to Assisi can be made by train or bus)

Distance

14,8 km

Refreshing points

Bregno spring (water not always present)

Shelters

None

Best period for hiking

from March to November, especially June and October

Climate

having a Mediterranean climate, Umbrian weather is mildly cold in winter, January is the coldest month

how to reach the starting point

We leave from Assisi (Porta Cappuccini) and follow C.A.I. Path 50. We walk along the mediaeval walls and then, passing through woods of holm oaks and downy oaks, we reach the panoramic road of Monte Subasio (Umbria Regional Park), which we follow until we reach the Carceri hermitage (Eremo delle Carceri). Going up the ditch of the same name, we arrive at the Vallonica refuge. From here we proceed towards Sasso Piano and after crossing the Rosceto stream we reach Mortaro Grande and Piccolo (sinkholes), characteristic karstic dolines once used to store snow and then turned into ice. From here we descend over meadows until we reach the historic and monumental Bregno spring and shortly afterwards the Bulgarella spring on the outskirts of Spello. The map of the Subasio trails published by the C.A.I. is recommended

Equipment and outfit required

You should pack a bottle of water, as it is not always possible to stock up on water on the way, a hat, windbreaker, whatever you consider indispensable on a personal level, remembering not to make the rucksack unnecessarily heavy, hiking footwear.

Download file: Assisi_Spello.gpx

This path across the principle olive-growing areas of the Umbria region  (“Assisi-Spoleto Olive Belt”). The “Assisi-Spoleto Olive Belt” is an Apennine piedmont landscape, the olive belt runs between Assisi and Spoleto for 40 kilometers.
It is a unique, unrepeatable heritage that involves six municipalities in the province of Perugia: Assisi, Spello, Foligno, Trevi, Campello sul Clitunno, and Spoleto.

The long but not difficult journey takes us through the historical-architectural wonders of two of the most beautiful medieval towns in the region (Assisi and Spello). This is a path to enjoy the wonders of Umbria, among the Franciscan spirituality of the hermitages, the unspoilt nature, the landscape and the local traditions. The altitude and soil composition contribute, together with the work of man, to make this area an exceptional area for the production of extra virgin olive oil (EVO). In fact, the structure of the land, the microclimate and the soil make cultivating our olive groves in Assisi and Spello particularly enjoyable. Umbria has indeed a great olive oil tradition. Indeed, olive oil production throughout Umbria is extremely important and prestigious. To fully discover the extra virgin olive oil of this region, you should experience olive oil tasting and oil mill tour in Umbria.  This is one of the best ways to discover the essence of the region. While tasting simple but tasty food seasoned with the golden and fruity olive oil produced in the region, you can also taste some local typical products: wine, cheese, cured meats etc.

The massive cultivation of the olive tree (9,000 hectares of land and almost 1,500,000 plants) is the millenary result of a culture of a non-spontaneous nature.

From both Assisi and Spello, two jewels of the Middle Ages, there is plenty of routes that lead you to other smaller villages (Bevagna, Montefalco, Trevi etc) and monasteries, Benedictine and Franciscan, scattered on Mount Subasio (1290 m.), which are important for the historical, landscape and anthropic value they represent.

The Eremo delle Carceri (alt. 791 m)  is an ancient hermitage set within the thick woodland of mount Subasio, 4 km from Assisi. Here, Saint Francis and his companions settled in isolation to lead of life of austerity and more intense prayer.

According to tradition, Saint Francis got the hermitage as a gift from the Benedictines.

An interesting walk through the woods starts with the bronze statue by Vincenzo Rosignoli,  San Francis liberating the doves  leading to an old oak tree on which the birds are said to have gathered to be blessed by Francis.

Typical dishes of the best Umbrian tradition such as roast lamb, truffle omelette and bruschetta (grilled bread) seasoned with EVO are cooked in restaurants. To enhance its flavour, it is recommended as a condiment on cooked (red potatoes) or wild plants (‘rapunzoli’).

Both Spello and Assisi offer many different types of accommodation: from camping to hotels, as well as religious hospitality sites.

Two events are particularly interesting: the Calendimaggio in Assisi, in which music and scenes of medieval life are re-enacted, and the infiorate in Spello, on the occasion of Corpus Domini, real paintings made with the multicoloured petals of flowers picked on Mount Subasio above.

In addition to this, during the months of the oil harvest, it is possible to watch the picking of the precious fruit and the pressing in the numerous oil mills in the area.

In Assisi and the Subasio Regional Park, 10 paths linked to St Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures have been identified and marked.

Useful links:

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